The Security Council’s Newest Member Is Accused of Killing Thousands of Prisoners

The World
How It Works
Oct. 21 2013 5:05 PM

Nigeria Accused of Killing Thousands

185203052
Nigerian amphibious army advance towards the enemy during a joint military exercise between Nigerian armed forces, United States, Britain, Netherlands and Spain in Lagos on October 18, 2013.

Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

The AP’s Michelle Faul suggests that the situation in Northern Nigeria may be even uglier than previously thought:  

Joshua Keating Joshua Keating

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

Overall, the records obtained by The Associated Press for the nine months from Oct. 5 to July 5 indicate that the military is killing thousands in its crackdown on the uprising in northeast Nigeria.
The records cover just one hospital, Sani Abacha Specialist Teaching Hospital in Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, the movement fighting to uproot Western cultural influences from a country shared almost equally by Muslims and Christians. In the 30 days before the state of emergency was declared on May 14, 380 bodies were delivered to the hospital by the military. In the 30 days after, the number was 1,321.
For the whole of June, the number was 1,795, making it the worst month in the records seen by the AP, which has also witnessed many of the bodies being delivered to the hospital in military ambulances, escorted by armored cars.
The figure is much larger than the estimated number of Boko Haram fighters.
Advertisement

The article follow another report from Amnesty International, suggesting that “over 950 people died in military custody in the first six months of this year alone.” According to the AP’s records, more than three times that many were killed in this period.

Boko Haram has carried out its own share of atrocities, but reports of what looks like a slow-motion massacre by the Nigerian military are certainly disturbing. Nigeria was one of the five countries elected to the U.N. Security Council last week.  

The U.S. has a longstanding assistance and training relationship with Nigeria’s military, including counterterrorism training. The U.S. has offered more security assistance in the fight against Boko Haram, though Secretary of State John Kerry recently expressed concern over "credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations." 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.